Learn how to make candles using thrift store glassware as containers.
Who doesn't love a good candle burning on your kitchen counter now that fall is within our reach! There's something about the crackling of the wick that gets me dreaming of pumpkins, hay rides and apple cider.
But most of the fancy store bought candles are so boring right now.
Round glass jar. Silver lid. Farmhouse styled label. White wax.
So when I saw this glass candy dish at the thrift store I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it!
Don't even get me started on the packing tape thrift stores use to drive us nuts. I wrote a whole rant about the evils of packing tape in my Letter To All Thrift Store Workers a few years ago.
But did I mention it's amber colored? All the trendy trendsetters who know about trends are into amber colored bottles in their home decor this year.
I went back and forth as to whether this Granny-esque candy dish was going to add to that amber trend or if it was going to hasten the demise of it. But I'm happy to say I am firmly in the More Amber The Better camp now!
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How To Make Candles In Thrifted Glassware
Ingredients For Homemade Candles:
- Natural Soy Wax
- Wicks with metal holders (I used wooden ones)
- Candle fragrance oil (optional)
- Candle coloring (optional)
- Glass Container From Thrift Store
- Hot Glue Gun
Instructions For Making Candles:
Find a suitably festive container for your candle.
If you don't find a glass candy dish at the thrift store (believe me, you will, because they are all over the place there), you can always swipe Granny's candy dish. Just dump out her ribbon candy before you start. Don't worry, it will come out as one large sticky lump.
Of course, other heavy glass bowls, tin cans, or even store-bought candle molds (did I actually just say store-bought?) will work also.
The thing I LOVE about a glass candy dish is that it has a lid to it, so your scent won't escape when it's not in use.
Wash out the container with soap and water and thoroughly dry.
Lay down a layer of newspaper or cardboard, because candle-making can get messy and I'd much rather roll up some newspaper than scrape dried candle wax off my hardwood floors.
Using a glue gun or candle stick-ums (fancy candle glue dots), glue your wicks to the bottom of your vessel.
I used wooden wicks because I thought they would look more rustic, but basic string wicks would work also. I used two wicks because of the rectangular shape of my candy dish.
Melt your wax.
I used this wax which can be melted in the microwave.
Now, I've done the double-boiler method in the past, but it was so much EASIER just to pop the wax in the provided microwave-approved container and melt away.
I set the microwave at 2 minutes, stirred it, and then set it at another 2 minutes and stirred again. To get the very last bits of candle melted, I then microwaved it for a final 30 SECONDS (I originally typed 30 minutes in here and that could have caused a whole heap of trouble!). Please read the instructions on your package of wax.
If you are using a coloring, mix a few drops in at a time and stir until you get the desired color.
If you are using a scent, add in roughly ½ of a .5oz bottle per pound (read your product's label to know the correct dosing size for that particular scent).
Then pour your melted wax into your candle container, in my case a glass candy dish.
Wait for your candle to set up and cool. According to the directions on my box o' wax, it was suggested to wait 24 hours.
Then cut the wick according to the package directions - my wooden wicks were to be cut to ¼" above the wax.
And that's it.
Light it and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Which really isn't very much labor at all!
Can't find Granny's old candy jar? Here are some other ideas for items to upcycle for your candles.
Items To Repurpose For Candles:
- Tin cans
- Glassware from thrift store
- Mason jars
- Tea tins
- Vintage ceramic planters
Candle Safety Tips:
Please be careful both when making your homemade candles and when burning your candles. The National Candle Association has a great tip sheet on candle safety which covers just about everything you need to know!
By the way, today is Thrift Store Decor Team Wednesday!!! The one day of the month where I get together with a group of bloggers and show off our latest and greatest thrift store makeovers.
Run on over and see what my friends have done with their recent thrifting finds!
Chrome Desk Lamp Domestically Speaking
Table Top Valet Makeover Refresh Restyle
Over Sized Vase | Easy Thrift Store Makeover My Repurposed Life
Picture Frame Makeover Our Southern Home
DIY Painted Basket Makeover My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Paint a Thrift Store Lazy Susan Petticoat Junktion
DIY Towel Rack from Candle Wall Sconces Sadie Seasongoods
Repurposing Granny's Candy Dish House of Hawthornes (that's me)
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
Quilted Mason Jar Candle Holders
DIY Earring Holder (from Thrift Store frame)
What a beautiful little dish!
By the way, I have always loved amber glassware.
I think I always lumped it in with avocado green in my mind! I might have to pick up some more pieces of it!
I have this dish is blue, it never occurred to me to make it into a candle! Thanks for the idea!
I have to say I'm amazed at how pretty this is. When I saw the before picture, I couldn't imagine what you made from this old candy dish.
question??? THIRTY minutes in the microwave for wax? I'm thinking you must mean THIRTY SECONDS?
Pinned! and remembering this for later. Awesome gift ideas!
Oops. Someone's going to be blowing up their microwave!!! Thanks for catching that!
So, I am honestly DYING over this idea. I absolutely LOVE it and you are so dang right about amber glass. Like, it is THE THING right now and the only piece I have is my vitamin bottle...which isn't even empty because I forget to take them every day. :/ But seriously, I pinned and can't wait to share this on FB. BRAVO, friend!
Thank you! I think amber is the new black!
What a great idea!
Thank you Kathy!
Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
I love this project, Pam! That candy dish is so much more fun than ordinary candle holders! I am loving the amber right now...must be fall coming. I need to try this! Thanks for sharing!
The thrift store had a bunch of serving dishes in amber too. I might have to run back and pick those up for Thanksgiving table decor!
Love this! I do have a question (don't laugh): I have never seen wood wicks before. Do these work better than string? Thanks!
This is the first time I have tried them. I've seen them in store-bought candles for a few years though and I thought it was more of a "design" choice. But they do burn a little differently and have a nice crackling sound when they burn. Sort of like a fireplace crackling but on a much much smaller scale. Plus maybe the best thing is you don't have to worry about holding the wick up straight when it's cooling, because the wooden ones are rigid and come with a little metal bar they slide into that sits flat on the bottom of the candle jar (or candy dish).
This is such a great idea! I am an Estate sale junky and you always find these types of containers at the sales. Thank you for sharing your awesome idea!
What a gorgeous candy dish! I love making candles... I need to make some more this fall.
Christy @ Our Southern Home
I've got several dishes similar to this! I absolutely love the idea of making a candle with them. This is so much easier than I realized!
I love candles and Iove this idea and I love the beautiful candy dish except...for the color. I definitely am not on the amber bandwagon! Sorry, but just give me some green or blue or even purple or pink! The beauty of this idea, though is that everyone can find a candy dish in their favorite color and Voila!...the makeover is custom-made and works for anybody!
Great post, great idea, Pam!
It IS very pretty, and I may do something like this, but OMG, it's still "early" August! It makes me feel stressed and depressed to think of fall and winter right now! I heard a radio commercial for pumpkin-spiced something and wanted to bash the radio. Of course I understand that crafty people have to work ahead, but I need my remaining summer!!!
Love how you turned it into a candle, and the amber is gorgeous!, my grandma had one like that 🙂
I am not someone who does re-purposing or redesigning things, but I enjoy reading your blog for your funny commentary and your imaginative creations. I always come away with a smile on my face and a great appreciation for people who can visualize returning something to usefulness again. Thanks.
What an exceptionally pretty candy dish for your candle-making endeavors! I like the color of the dish and size, and I bet that candle smells great. In fact, I was just noticing that the candles for sale in my little antique mall the other day looked exactly like the ones you describe & I think yours looks much better.
Great idea - very pretty! How much of the 1 lb. box of wax did you use for this candle? Thanks!
The candle is nice. What about all the other items that made me click on this? I feel tricked, again.
The other 7 projects the other bloggers made are down toward the bottom of the post beneath the big blue circle. Do you think I should make that even more prominent? Maybe a big box surrounding that section? Don't think I've ever been accused of tricking anyone about anything, so I want to make sure everyone can see it easily 🙂
I absolutely adore this idea and I’m thinking of setting up a small business selling candles in thrifted glass but am worried about some glassware not being safe for candles. I don’t want to sell somebody a candle and have it crack and explode. Do you know if all thrifted glassware is safe?
Love this project! I have depression glass candy dishes with lids that were my Aunt's, and they have been in storage for years because I really have no place to display them. Making a candle out of them would e perfect! Thank you for the idea!
Can I use essential oil in place of the fragrance?